At the time of writing this, I have not yet seen The Dark Knight Rises. Regardless of our hero’s ultimate fate, the fact remains that Batman will go on. If another character in Nolan’s movie carries on the mantle (Catwoman, JGL, etc), that works. More likely, we will see a reboot of the historic franchise in the coming years. How do you follow up such an iconic trilogy? I have three words: Court of Owls.
Another three words: Zombie Ninja Asassins. This is the Batman movie we need.
Comics fans are well aware of DC’s line wide reboot last year. Despite the overhaul, Batman was relatively unchanged. His continuity is mostly intact, but we still faced a new era for the character. Writer Scott Snyder’s epic Court of Owls story just wrapped up last week, and has easily been my favorite part of the New 52. The comic is classic Batman, executed to near perfection. It’s a dark detective tale with huge action scenes and a good deal of horror mixed in. Even though it’s somewhat grounded in reality (for a superhero book), the story still has aspects that would never fit into Nolan’s hyper realistic crime saga. This is a good thing, because imitating Nolan’s style would simply lead to disaster.
And not the explodey kind of disaster we all love to see.
Why else is this story perfect? By now, we’ve seen just about every major Batman villain on screen. Recycling those villains will inevitably become tired and only reinforces negative connotations about reboots. The audience needs something new, and the Court and their Talons are just that. More importantly, like any good Batman villain, they exist as a dark reflection of the Caped Crusader. Batman believes himself to know everything about Gotham. He’s a part of the city, with his family part of its very foundation. Could there be a part of Gotham even more integral that Batman, even older than the Wayne family itself? What dark secrets would such an entity hold, and who would they be? These mysteries are the heart of Snyder’s tale, and holy hell has it been fun. Seriously weird, disturbing, fantastic stuff. Batman also punches Robin in the face during the story, so you know it’s good stuff.
This approach even allows Batman to fit into a potential Justice League. Since we’ve moved away from the “no superpowers” arena, Bats can finally join his fellow heroes. Hopefully when the inevitable reboot arrives, Batman can enter a new world straight out of the comics.
And did you know Owls are the natural predators of Bats? And that they’re super creepy? Because Scott Snyder does, and he does a terrifying job of reminding me of this every issue.